Tony Romo's No. 1 job: protect football

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo swears things will be different in 2013.

After a three-interception game against Detroit in 2011, Romo said he had to stop trying to do too much. After a five-interception game against the New York Giants in 2012 -- a month after a four-pick game against Chicago -- Romo made a similar proclamation.

For the most part he answered those calls with only five interceptions in final 12 games in 2011 and six in the final nine last season, however, three came in the winner-take-all finale against Washington.

“My job is going to be to protect the football,” Romo said. “That’s my No. 1 job going into every football game and I’m going to do the job that this team needs to win the football game. ... Obviously the No. 1 thing for me will be not having anything negatively happen. When I say that it’s not just turnovers, it’s negative plays, getting us into the right plays and doing the things that can get us out of other things. A lot of that stuff falls on the quarterback’s plate and that’s a good thing especially when you’ve been in a system for an extended period of time throughout the experiences. I’ll go into it with the right frame of mind and do what needs to be done.”

In 2011, Romo finished with 31 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. His 19 interceptions last year were tied for the most in the NFL with Drew Brees. In 2009, Romo had a career-low nine interception and 26 touchdowns passes.

He has had to find the balance of making plays to win games while also making sure he did not give games away. Coach Jason Garrett has talked about letting Romo be Romo while also being careful.

“Everything has to be muscle memory, repetitive and things that have a lot of contingencies to fall back on under pressure in situations like that,” Romo said. “The more you do that the more you’ll perform as a football team when those times come about. I think we’re really not going to do anything different than what we did at training camp, in preseason games. We’re going to run, probably, some plays that are similar, some different plays, some things like that, but as far as the rest of it I’m going to treat it the same way I’ve treated every day I walk out there -- the ball’s important, moving the team, getting us in and out of the right play and finding the right guy and letting them do what they do best.”